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The Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim) course is designed to teach Dinak’i to people who want to learn how to speak in ways culturally relevant to our Upper Kuskokwim Dena (Athabascan) communities.


The course includes 13 units with up to six lessons per unit. Lessons include examples of everyday conversations, which expose learners to ways to use Dinak’i in a practical, culturally relevant way. It includes an alphabet course, conversational videos, practice activities in speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as information on Dinak’i grammar and culture.


Dinak’i is a Dene (Athabascan) language spoken in the Upper Kuskokwim communities of Edze Dochak’ (Nikolai), Tilayadi (Telida) and Tochak’ (McGrath).

The Dinak’i team held focused work sessions in Fairbanks and Anchorage, and brought their many talents to this important work. The team would like to give special recognition to the late Steven Nikolai and the late Irene Nikolai, both of whose love for the Dinak’i language was felt by all who worked with them.


The developers of the course are our Elders: the late Steven Nikolai, the late Irene Nikolai and Oline Petruska; content creators: Stephanie Petruska, Debbie Esai Holm, Michael Alexia, Shalmarie Nikolai, Dora Stokes, Blake Nikolai, Miska Alexia and Larry Alexia; and linguistic consultant: Teresa Hanson.

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